May 13th, 2014
Menomonee Falls Patch
Shane McCoy

After a long, cold winter, nature is beginning to spring to life in anticipation of warm weather. While families and individuals may have picnics and thoughts of outdoor activities on their minds, it is important to remember that pests have been preparing for the changing season as well.

Warmth and moisture-seeking pests including Asian lady beetles, carpenter ants, cluster flies, spiders and those dreaded box elder bugs are already active this season, soon to be popping up in large numbers across the upper Midwest. Beginning now, and lasting throughout the spring, pest prevention in and around your home is key to promoting a healthy and safe environment.

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These tips should be a priority on every homeowner’s spring to-do list to ensure a pest-free season!

Yard cleanup:

  • Remove debris: As the snow melts, take advantage of the opportunity to remove leaves, twigs, fallen fruit and other items from your yard. This can be an ideal place for insects to hide.
  • Leave a barrier around your home: Make sure mulch, tree branches and grass don’t grow right up to the side of your home as this can serve as a pest superhighway.
  • Clean the gutters: Gutters, like piles of debris, can be a safe haven for pests. Make sure they are running clean so water and debris are not collecting and attracting bugs.

Entry points:

  • Inspect the roof and chimney: While you’re cleaning the gutters, take a quick detour to safely inspect your roof and chimney for holes or cracks that may have developed over the winter. Bats, squirrels and raccoons love a nice, dry attic, and it is an easy way for insects to gain access.
  • Find and seal any cracks, holes or gaps: Insects and rodents can fit into surprisingly small places. Survey the interior and exterior of your home, especially around air conditioning units, windows and doors. Fill any open spaces with caulk, copper wool or hardware mesh.
  • Inspect all windows and doors: Replace any door sweeps that are no longer connecting with the ground. Check all window screens for splits or holes and replace the screens as necessary.

Tidy up inside:

  • Eliminate clutter in your basement, attic or crawl space: Piles of boxes, clothes and other items are perfect places to keep pests warm throughout the winter. When you are done inspecting outside, don’t forget to eliminate clutter inside so pests have fewer places to hide, and you have better visibility into a potential issue.

Making sure both the inside and outside of your home are ready for the changing season allows you to better protect your family against those annoying warm weather pests.

Do you have any tips to share? I welcome your comments and feedback!

About Shane McCoy:

Shane McCoy is the Technical Training Director for Wil-Kil Pest Control, a regional pest management company providing quality pest management for residential and commercial properties throughout the Upper Midwest. As an Associate Certified Entomologist with over 18 years of experience in pest management, Shane’s blog provides expert tips and tricks, timely information and solutions for coexisting with the insect life and critters around us. To learn more about Wil-Kil Pest Control, please visit www.wil-kil.com. You can also follow the company on Facebook and Twitter (@WilKilPest).